As I begin to do more and more beta reading for other users, I have run into a consistent problem. As far as my style of feedback is concerned, I give the same kind of criticism I want to receive. I believe clear, constructive, and supportive feedback is much more useful than hyper critical feedback that can be disheartening or soft feedback which feels better but doesn't actually help. However, here in lies my problem. That isn't always easy to do in text.

When someone posts a first chapter for critique it's easy to point out spelling errors or run-on sentences. However, I often find that more complex problems like poorly explained settings or hard to follow dialogue are challenging to address in a few sentences. Sure I can just highlight the passage and say "Fix" but that doesn't really resolve the underlying issue.

To deal with this I often ask people to set up a discord call so I can easily have a back and forth dialogue about the problem and how to address it. For me at least, it feels more natural because we can talk and brainstorm much faster than we can read and type. Also it allows me to be more supportive because as we brainstorm I can point out things that are working and help reinforce those moments with positive feedback.

How do you handle situations that require complex feedback? If someone posts a short synopsis that needs a lot of help do you take the time to write a three page response or do you simply pass by?

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Read:  On Purple Prose


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